This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Micheal O Domhnaill, Guitarist, The Bothy Band

Micheal O Domhnaill ROB ADAMS July 14 2006 Guitarist, The Bothy band; Born 1952; Died July 8, 2006 Micheal O Domhnaill, who has died suddenly aged 54, leaves a priceless legacy of traditional music. As a crucial part of legendary 1970s group The Bothy Band's rhythm section, O Domhnaill created the blueprint for guitar accompaniment in Irish music. Along with his sister, Triona, he introduced new audiences, attracted by the group's instrumental virtuosity, to the wonders of Gaelic song. He also named the group. On a trip to Scotland, he'd spotted a photo of Irish farm labourers taken in the 1890s outside their hovel, captioned The Bothy Band. The O Domhnaill family grew up in Kells, County Meath, but spent their summers in the Donegal Gaeltacht, where their aunt Neili would share a store of songs that they later took out on to the international stage. Micheal, Triona and sister Maighread formed their first group, Skara Brae, with guitarist Daithi Sproule, in 1970. Their only album, while considered too adventurous when released in 1971, was hailed as a landmark on its CD reissue in 1998. Micheal and Maighread joined Triona in Seachtar, which became The Bothy Band. He collected many songs in Donegal for University College, Dublin, and Calum Sgaire and Tiochfaidh An Samhradh, sung in his quiet, rich-in-the-tradition style, became Bothy Band showstoppers alongside their rumbling mouth music tour de force, Fionnghuala. After five years, The Bothy Band split in 1979. Micheal and Triona settled in America, where they worked together in the long-running group Nightnoise. In 2001, the Bothy Band re-convened for a Celtic Connections concert that was an affirmation of the magical quality that siblings singing together can create. Later that year, Micheal and another ex-Bothy Band fiddler, Paddy Glackin, released Reprise, an album which, with Micheal's gorgeous reading of Loch Lomond and his inventive, apposite accompaniments to his friend's fiddle mastery, forms a fitting – if far too premature – epitaph to a great musician.
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